District council under fire for noise complaint

General Views: Derbyshire Dales District Council headquarters, Bank Road, Matlock.
General Views: Derbyshire Dales District Council headquarters, Bank Road, Matlock.

Derbyshire Dales District Council has been criticised by the Local Government Ombudsman for failing to tackle noise problems from a business – owned by a former councillor.

The failure has resulted in nearby residents suffering “unacceptable night-time noise” in some form since 2007.

A report by the Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin, upholds the complaint that the council failed to act quickly enough to take action against the business during 2011 and 2012.

This comes after a previous complaint from the same residents, in late 2010, where an investigation found the council had not taken effective action to solve issues since 2007.

The investigation was ceased when, in response to the complaint, the council pledged to resolve any outstanding noise complaints by summer 2011.

The report, issued earlier this month, finds that the authority failed to do so and the complainants suffered an additional two summers of disturbance.

Local Government Ombudsman Dr Jane Martin said: “The council has failed in its duty to take sufficient action against a persistent problem, but through our action the complainants are able to see and end in sight to their distress.

“I find it disappointing that the previosu complaint that the previous complaint was not fully resolved as pledged. However, we are hopeful that the Derbyshire Dales District Council has now taken on the recommendations and will avoid similar issues in the future.”

The Ombudsman has recommended that the council apologise to the complainant and pay them £1.820 for the inconvenience cuased from the additional summers’ noise. This figure amounts to £10 per night during the summer – June, July and August over two years – as the council has assessed that the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance only when windows are open.

A noise abatement notice has been served on the business.